In the predawn hours of a Sunday morning, police officers came upon a cab parked in a secluded location. A woman (apparently an adolescent) emerged from the car naked and told the officers she was being raped by the driver, who was found with his pants down. Prosecutors charged the driver with attempted sexual violence. After the driver pled guilty and was sentenced to 50 months of imprisonment, the victim appealed the classification of the offense and prosecutors opposed the appeal. Based on evidence in the record, the court of appeals modified the conviction to sexual violence, doubling the time of the prison sentence. On the driver’s cassation appeal, the Supreme Court held that, by upgrading the conviction beyond the driver’s plea, the modification denied the driver the opportunity to present a defense and thus violated his right to due process. The Supreme Court accordingly vacated the modification and remanded the case for rehearing of the victim’s appeal.
Sentencia nº 235 de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia